Summer tips on avoiding food-borne diseases

MANILA — A health official on Wednesday gave some tips on how to ensure that the food we eat during summer is safe.

“Sa tamang pamamaraan at prosesong paggawa ng pagkain, makakasiguro tayo na kahit papaano ay maliligtas yung mga pagkain sa pagkapanis o pagkasira (By following the right procedures and processes in food preparation, we can prevent food from going bad easily),” said Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.

Lee Suy said handling food improperly and leaving it at room temperature for an extended period of time could induce the growth of bacteria and cause it to spoil.

He cited several factors that might lead to food spoilage.
“Yung pagkapanis ng pagkain kasi maraming anggulo talaga tayong dapat kinu-consider dito (We need to consider a number of factors on the spoilage of food),” Lee Suy said.
For instance, he said, improper food preparation, failure to wash the ingredients well and cooking them at the wrong temperature could add to the problem.
Lee Suy said refrigerating food can help it from turning bad easily, since microorganisms thrive in warm temperatures.

How to spot spoiled food?

Trust your nose.
Usually food that is beginning to deteriorate has an unpleasant odor, taste, and texture. Bacteria can cause fruits and vegetables to get mushy or slimy, and meat to smell bad.

Lee Suy said rotten food could also be observed in its physical appearance.
“Sabi nga nila, pag nakikita mo ang pagkain na parang may bula-bula, kakaiba na ang itsura kumpara dun sa pagkakaluto o sa inaasahan mong makita, magdalawang isip ka at baka panis na yung pagkain (Like they said, if your food has bubbles in it and it looks different compared to when it was newly cooked or how you expect it to look, have second thoughts because it might be spoiled),” he said.

By using your sense of smell and taste (by trying it just a bit) can help determine if the food is about to spoil, Lee Suy said.

What to do in case somebody eats spoiled food?

The DOH spokesperson advised that in case a person accidentally eats spoiled or contaminated food, begins to vomit, and experiences stomach pain and diarrhea, he or she should seek medical treatment.

“Mas maganda yung maagapan kaagad at marelease yung signs of discomfort sa katawan mo. Magpatingin ka kaagad or kung di man ikaw yun, o kaya ay anak natin yan, dalhin natin kaagad sa doctor or sa health facility (It would be better to check the illness right away to avoid discomfort. You or your child should immediately see a doctor or go to a health facility),” he said.